finish lines

fretterd_78Retired automation engineer Ray Fretterd has worked with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) since 2006. This free program helps people prepare tax documents.

A common misconception about VITA? That it’s just for the elderly. Probably 10 percent of our clientele are high school kids who haven’t the slightest idea what to do with a W-2 form.

Mistakes people make regarding taxes? Losing track of income documents; selling stock without having a record of the original price paid (we can’t figure capital gains); two divorced people claiming the same child as a dependent.

The rewards of voluneering for VITA?  Seeing the same clients return year after year.  After a while, they become like old friends.  It’s tough when the son or daughter comes in without them wanting a final return done because they’ve passed away.

What you’d do with a big tax return? Probably take a nice cruise vacation.

The year you’d visit, if you could time travel? I’ve always been fascinated by the multi-faceted life of Leonardo da Vinci and think it would be fantastic to be able to peek over his shoulder.  So what would that be, about 1500?

THE skill you are most proud of? An ability to add up a column of numbers, which enables me to do taxes.

Your favorite Pittsburgh restaurant?    Since Poli’s and Klein’s are no more, you can find [my wife], Susan, and me with friends at the bar at DeLallo’s most Wednesday evenings.

M.A. Jackson
Photo by Martha Rial